Kissell listed among top five most vulnerable Democrats

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 26, 2011

By Karissa Minn
U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell has been named the most vulnerable Democrat in the nation heading into the 2012 Congressional elections by a Washington, D.C., publication that covers Congress.
The Hill, a non-partisan newspaper focused on federal government and politics, listed the five most vulnerable Democrats. Kissell made the list because of redistricting by the Republican-controlled General Assembly, which changed the demographics of his district.
ěKissell survived a competitive 2010 race, winning with 53 percent of the vote,î wrote Cameron Joseph. ěBut … his district goes from one that would have given (2008 GOP presidential candidate John) McCain 47 percent of the vote to one that would have given him 57 percent of the vote.î
Kissell represents the 8th District, which currently includes most of Cabarrus County. According to a new map passed by the N.C. General Assembly and awaiting federal approval, his district would spread into southeastern Rowan and Davidson counties next year.
Christopher Schuler, Kissellís communications director, said people in Washington have ěunderestimatedî Kissell for the past two elections, which he won by margins of 11.5 percent and 9.5 percent.
ěHe has been named one of the most moderate members of Congress, and thatís exactly what the people of our area are looking for ó a Congressman who does what is right and in the best interest of the people he represents, not political parties or special interests,î Schuler said.
Kissell won the seat by ousting five-term Republican Robin Hayes in 2008. Hayes now leads the state Republican Party.
For now, Kissell has a sizable fundraising advantage over his potential opponents, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. As of June 30, he had $121,614 cash on hand.
Scott Keadle, a Republican Salisbury dentist and former Iredell County commissioner, reported $35 cash on hand and $20,000 in debt.
While Keadleís campaign reported no receipts or disbursements so far in this race, this is his third run for a seat in Congress. Last year, he tried unsuccessfully to unseat 10th District Rep. Patrick McHenry in a GOP primary. In 1998, when he lived in Rowan County, Keadle challenged Democratic U.S. Rep. Mel Watt in the 12th District.
Daniel Barry, the Republican mayor pro tem of the Union County town of Weddington, reported no receipts as of June 30 and no cash on hand. Independent Todd Foreman also reported no receipts and no cash on hand.
Other representatives from North Carolina on The Hillís ěmost vulnerableî list are Heath Shuler at No. 4 and ěHonorable Mentionsî David Price and Mike McIntyre.
An equivalent list of the top 5 vulnerable Republicans in Congress did not include any from North Carolina.